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WORLD NEWS - Aug 5th, 2011

发布日期:8-5-2011

我们勤劳的会员“Frank Suen”于2011年8月9日发布了关于这篇文章的精华帖子,全文如下:

It is 00:30 universal time, and here is the news in Special English.

Stock measures in the United States and Europe fell sharply Thursday. In the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 500 points, over four percent. That is the index's biggest drop since October, 2008. Major European stock indexes also had drops of about four percent. Financial experts say investors are concerned that there could be another recession in the United States. Separately, in the United States 400,000 people sought unemployment aid, that is down a little from last week. On Friday, the Labor Department will release the nation's unemployment rate for July. It is expected to remain at 9.2 percent.

Top American defense officials say they are concerned about the possibility of more cuts in defense spending. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen spoke Thursday. They said they accept that the Defense Department needs to reduce spending by 350 billion dollars. That was part of an agreement reached this week to raise the county's debt limit. But they both warned against any more cuts. The Budget Control Act of 2011 requires a congressional committee to recommend about 1.5 trillion dollars in additional cuts. If the committee does not do so, the law requires cutting defense and civilian programs equally. Mr Panetta said that would harm national security.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has declared that Syrian citizens can form political parties. The state-operated Sana news agency says the presidential order gives citizens the right to establish and join parties as long as conditions are met. The conditions include requirements for the parties to honor the constitution and the rule of law. The order also says that Syrians are barred from forming parties based on tribal or religious ties. Syria has until now had one political party controlled by the Assad family. Separately on Thursday, the United States Treasury Department took action against a Syrian businessman who is also a member of parliament. The department said Muhammad Hamsho was working for President Assad. It has placed restrictions on him and his company. The United States has seized Mr Hamsho's property and barred Americans from dealing with him.

The Libyan government is accusing NATO forces of bombing civilian targets in the town of Zlitan. The government made the accusations on state-controlled television Thursday. On Wednesday, Libyan officials denied rebel claims that opposition fighters had gained control of the town. A French news agency reports says Libyan officials led reporters through the town on Thursday. The official said a NATO airstrike killed three family members at their home in Zlitan. Separately, a son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi says he has formed an alliance with an Islamist leader in an attempt to divide the Libyan opposition. The New York Times reports that Islamist leader Ali Sallabi said he spoke with Seif al-Islam Gaddafi, but he denies the existence of an alliance.

You're listening to the news in VOA Special English.

American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on the al-Shabab militant group to let aid groups bring food aid to people in Somalia. Ms Clinton says more than one million people are in need of food in the part of Somalia controlled by al-Shabab. She spoke Thursday. Secretary Clinton said al-Shabab has made it difficult to bring food into areas it controls. She says the group has kidnapped aid workers and demanded money from them. She also said Vice President Joe Biden's wife, Jill Biden, will travel to Kenya this week. The director of the United States Agency for International Development will join her. And the head of the World Food Program in Ethiopia says that country's emergency food supplies are almost gone.

The United Nations says three Ethiopian peacekeepers died Thursday, because Sudan refused to let them be quickly taken by air to a hospital. UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roi said the peacekeepers were taken to a helicopter after being wounded in a land mine explosion. But he said the helicopter had to wait for three hours because the Sudanese government threatened to shoot it down if it took off. A UN spokesperson says Secretary General Ban ki-moon spoke about the incident with Sudan's ambassador to the UN. The spokesperson said Mr Ban told the ambassador that any delay is "unacceptable" when it comes to saving lives. The peacekeepers were wounded Tuesday as they patrolled the disputed Abyei region. A fourth peacekeeper died instantly in the explosions. Seven others were wounded but survived.

A French court will investigate if International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde abused her power while serving as finance minister of France. The court ordered the investigation of Ms Lagarde Thursday, after examining charges brought by opposition Socialist lawmakers. The lawmakers accuse Ms Lagarde of abusing her power in 2007. At that time, Ms Lagarde let a private group settle a legal dispute between a French businessman and a state-owned bank. In 2008, that group gave more than 400 million dollars in taxpayer money to the businessman, who was also a friend of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. French government lawyers say Ms Lagarde is suspected of stealing and helping create false documents. She denies the charges.

And now briefly, here again is the major news. Stock market measures declined sharply  in the United States and Europe on Thursday. Top American defense officials say they are concerned about the possibility of cuts in defense spending beyond those already called for. And American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is calling on the al-Shabab militant group to let aid groups bring food and supplies to people in Somalia.

That's the news in VOA Special English from Washington.

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